Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Faith's Food

Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:7-11


I think about these words every single time I offer Faith Ana food. It doesn't matter what it is {crackers, yogurt, applesauce, even chocolate pudding}, I've learned by now that she is going to refuse it. She pushes away any food that I offer her. And she not only refuses it, she scoots away from me as fast as she can, nearly falling over backwards, trying to get away from whatever is in my hand. If you observed our mealtime here in Bulgaria, you'd think I was giving her a snake!


I'm trying to have a sense of humor about it. After all, we have dealt with plenty of eating issues in our household, mine included! We have a house full of picky eaters, so Faith Ana will definitely fit right in. Her reaction to food has probably been the biggest surprise so far in this adventure. Although I was careful to go into this process without any expectations {one of the most important tips I would give to other adoptive families}, I never anticipated that Faith Ana would have the same type of chewing issues as Sophi. Every time I asked the orphanage staff about her eating habits, they told me that she loved to eat, everything {except tomatoes} and especially "torte" which is Bulgarian for cake. She is also much healthier and more cared for than Sophi {her teeth are beautiful}, so it really caught me off guard to see how intensely she dislikes anything with texture. Her food must be completely puréed or else it it's coming right back out! The biggest difference in this particular area between her and Sophi; however, is that Sophi would, literally, attack anything that even resembled food and would fill her mouth to capacity and then not know what to do with it. The opposite is true with Faith Ana. Her response to food ranks up there with her opinion of the elevator - sheer terror! I finally resorted to a trip to the grocery store yesterday afternoon to get some jars of baby food, and, even then, she would have nothing to do with it until I basically forced a tiny bit into her mouth.  Once she realized it was good, she tolerated me feeding her, barely opening her mouth, one tiny bite at a time. She has done this same thing with every single thing I've offered her to drink as well. Finally, as a last resort, I put some of the liquid on my finger and dabbed it on her little parched and dried lips. Again, once she realized that what I was offering her was good, she received it. She drained it dry and even asked for more. And, of course, there is always more, lots more. There's plenty of good things that come from the hand of the momma she is learning to trust! It is a slow and tedious process, but one that is clearly another mercy from the Lord, as He continues to grow patience and compassion into my heart!


So, at the end of our second full day together, we are both eating {some of us more than others}, and we are both most definitely learning! :)

*I've found a way to stretch the hotel's breakfast buffet into my lunch and supper, supplemented with a few things I brought from home! The fruits and vegetables are amazing here!*

I am a little concerned about how little Faith Ana is eating, and I'm praying for wisdom to know what to offer her and also how to begin teaching her to tolerate textures. Would you join me in prayer?


With each new day, we are also both learning more and more. She is learning to trust me that what I give her is good and for her good. This is, by far, more important than her actually learning to chew...

{Boys, you'll get a kick out of this. You know how Momma always tells you not to smack your gum in church, well, yesterday during nap time, I was sitting near your newest sister, and I must have been smacking mine more than I realized. I looked over at a Faith Ana, and she was imitating me perfectly.}

...So, I am very confident that she will eventually learn to chew, but I know that this will just come with time. As I said yesterday, she is a quick learner!


I am learning something similar; although, I am, by far, a much slower learner. 


I read these words this morning and thought they were so fitting:


The strength of our faith is in direct proportion to our level of belief that God will do exactly what He has promised. Faith has nothing to do with feelings, impressions, outward appearances, nor the probability or improbability of an event. If we try to couple these things with faith, we are no longer resting on the Word of God, because faith is not dependent on them. Faith rests on the pure word of God alone. And when we take Him at His Word, our hearts are at peace.

God delights in causing us to exercise our faith. He does so to bless us individually, to bless the church at large, and as a witness to unbelievers. Yet we tend to retreat from the exercising of our faith instead of welcoming it. When trials come, our response should be, "My Heavenly Father has placed this cup of trials into my hands so I may later have something pleasant."

Trials are the food of faith. Oh, may we leave ourselves in the hands of our Heavenly Father! It is the joy of His heart to do good to all His children...

Are you able to genuinely say, from your knowledge of a God and your relationship with Him, that He is indeed a beautiful Being? If not, let me graciously encourage you to ask God to take you to that point, so you will fully appreciate His gentleness and kindness, so you will be able to say just how good He is, and so you will know what a delight it is to God's heart to do good for His children.

The closer we come to this point in our inner being, the more willing we are to leave ourselves in His hands and the more satisfied we are with all of His dealings with us. Then when trials come, we will say, "I will patiently wait to see the good God will do in my life, with the calm assurance He will do it."

In this way, we will bear a worthy testimony to the world and thereby strengthen the lives of others. ~ George Mueller


So, what's on your plate right now? What trials are you experiencing? What difficult circumstances are dominating your life? Is there something that feels too hard or seems like too much effort, something too scary, or too challenging?


We are so resistant to things that are hard. If something is hard, we want to make it easy. We want to find a solution or find a way out. We avoid difficulties at all cost.


Here's the challenge: To welcome the trials and difficulties you are experiencing as the very food your faith needs, necessary to make it grow, exactly what you need, perfectly portioned out by your Father who loves you, designed to make you fit for His kingdom purposes! His glorious kingdom purposes!

What a great menu option that would be! And what an amazing comfort and promise! That every single thing from His hand will be for our good, and even more, FOR HIS GLORY!!! 

Just some food for thought here from Bulgaria tonight! :)


Today, we spent the morning at a nearby park, exploring trails, and even finding a few smooth ones! There's not many of those in this country! :) After lunch and naptime, we took a taxi to get Faith Ana's picture taken for her passport, and then we took another taxi to a medical clinic to have her physical and blood test that is required for her to come back in to the States. We were both exhausted by the time we got through. {Today involved a lot of getting in and out and up and down. And even though she only weighs 37 pounds, she's dead weight. My arms and back are getting an unbelievable workout, and I'm pretty sure I'm getting stronger by the day!} After resting, we went back to the park one more time and then back to the grocery store for more essentials {baby food and coke zero}. We made one last stop at a small bakery next to our hotel for my supper before heading back to our room. There are protests going on outside our hotel {not near as violent as in neighboring Ukraine}, nevertheless, we called it a night a little earlier than normal, but I think we were both ready!  Overall Faith Ana had another good day today and is sleeping soundly now! Thank you again for your prayers!

XOXO,
Melanie





3 comments:

  1. loving these updates and continuing to pray for you & Faith!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Since my daughter was at the same orphanage I can share she is also picky and doesn't over eat. I also learned that they ate a lot of eggs (scrambled, Mish mash), lots of rice dishes, in season fruit and believe it or not even ice cream in the summer. Not sure if any of these will work with miss Faith, but try them. Also discovered over a year home that cumin is the magical seasoning that makes meat (preferable ground) taste the best to my Bulgarian.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm eating up the spiritual truths that God is revealing to you during your time in country. Faith looks very much like her momma! Praying!

    ReplyDelete